FAME Review: Tony Guerrero - Blue Room
Tony Guerrero - Blue Room

Blue Room

Tony Guerrero

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

As of the release of Blue Room, Tony Guerrero has been plying his trumpet, fluegelhorn, and cornet trade to world audiences, airplay, and critical recognition for two decades, blowing horns as clean and sweet as a September morning. He's a cat who holds an overall tone somewhere between Paul Desmond, Terumasa Hino, Herb Alpert, and Benny Goodman (and, yes, I'm well aware of the disparity in Desmond's and Goodman's instruments). Too, his wont lands Guerrero squarely in elder jazz airs a la those just-named gents but also with the sort of precision and pristine atmospheres the Buselli-Wallerab projects and offshoots have produced. For this disc, the gent chose a mean mess of standards and a couple self-penned numbers.

He finds little trouble in going from wistful ballad to bop and bossa from cut to cut; thus, the listener is treated to a cavalcade of tempos and styles, all wielded with relish accompanied by a trio of swinging' staples (Llew Matthews on piano, Dave Enos on bass, and Matt Johnson on drums) as well as a snappy array of top-notch guests. More, his own two cuts have a marked atmosphere of sheer old Blue Note vitality and tradition, Dizzy Does It being particularly cool. Blue Room is, from start to finish, an exposition of classy jazz dive music, the kind of fare that demands velvet curtains, ties and blazers, and a background susurration of appreciative murmurs atop brandy snifter tinkling.

Jamie Findlay, in a couple cuts, drags in a Jim Hall era guitar that recalls the six-string boogie of Kessel and others while looking forward to Martino. His solo in My Secret Love is bedded in Guerrero's dulcet tones, alive and golden, both of them swirling around the central theme for all its worth, the sort of brainy exercises we saw in Earl Klugh's later catalogue. Flugel Bugle Blues" expands into a big band sound kicking the brass into overdrive while Johnson pounds some extremely tasty traps, cut-a-rug music from jump, finger-snappin' and jitterbugging. A number of tracks push past the 5 and 6 minute marks, so there's plenty of room for exploration and improv everywhere, making for a release that lacks for nothing.

Track List:

  • It's only a Paper Moon (Rose / Arlen / Harburg)
  • Just a Few (Shorty Rogers)
  • Black Orpheus (Bonfa / Maria)
  • Carumba (Tony Guerrero)
  • Body & Soul (Heyman / Sour / Eyton / Green)
  • Blue Room (Rodgers / Hart)
  • Dizzy Does It (Tony Guerrero)
  • My Secret Love (Fain / Webster)
  • Flugel Bugle Blues (Mel Davis)
  • Over the Rainbow (Harburg / Arlen)
  • Just Squeeze Me (Gaines / Ellington)
  • Candy (David / Kramer / Whitney)
  • My Romance (Hart / Rodgers)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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